Category: purchasing power

Comparing the Cost of Living Around the World


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist


Comparing The Cost of Living Around the World

The amount of money that’s needed to pay for day-to-day expenses like housing and food varies greatly from city to city. And some cities, like New York City, are known as especially expensive places to live.

So how do everyday expenses in New York City truly compare in costs to places like Beirut, Lebanon, or Bangalore, India?

This graphic by Victor Dépré (hypntic.data) uses 2022 data from Numbeo to compare the cost of living and purchasing power in 578 different cities around the world, using New York City as a benchmark for comparison.

The Cost of Living Index

Though New York City is widely recognized as one of the most expensive cities in the world, according to Numbeo—the world’s largest database of user-contributed data on cities and countries—there are a number of cities that are actually more expensive than the Big Apple.

Here’s a look at the comparative cost of living in 578 cities. For context, if a city has a cost of living index of 121, that means day-to-day expenses in it are 21% higher than New York’s, on average:

CityCountryCost of Living Index
HamiltonBermuda149.0
ZurichSwitzerland131.2
BaselSwitzerland130.9
ZugSwitzerland128.1
LuganoSwitzerland124.0
LausanneSwitzerland122.0
BeirutLebanon120.5
BernSwitzerland118.2
GenevaSwitzerland114.1
StavangerNorway104.6
Honolulu, HIUnited States103.7
OsloNorway102.3
BergenNorway100.4
New York, NYUnited States100.0
TrondheimNorway99.4
TromsoNorway (Read more...)

Purchasing Power of the U.S. Dollar Over Time


This post is by Govind Bhutada from Visual Capitalist


purchasing power of the dollar

The Briefing

  • The purchasing power of the U.S. dollar has fallen over time, as money supply has grown
  • In fact, $1 in 1913 had the same purchasing power as $26 in 2020

What is Purchasing Power?

The purchasing power of a currency is the amount of goods and services that can be bought with one unit of the currency.

For example, one U.S. dollar could buy 10 bottles of beer in 1933. Today, it’s the cost of a small McDonald’s coffee. In other words, the purchasing power of the dollar—its value in terms of what it can buy—has decreased over time as price levels have risen.

Tracking the Purchasing Power of the Dollar

In 1913, the Federal Reserve Act granted Federal Reserve banks the ability to manage the money supply in order to ensure economic stability. Back then, a dollar could buy 30 Hershey’s chocolate bars.

As more dollars came into circulation, average prices of goods and services increased while the purchasing power of the dollar fell. By 1929, the value of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 73% higher than in 1913, but a dollar was now enough only for 10 rolls of toilet paper.

YearEventPurchasing Power of $1What a Dollar Buys
1913Creation of the Federal Reserve System$26.1430 Hershey’s chocolate bars
1929Stock market crash$15.1410 rolls of toilet paper
1933Gold possession criminalized$19.9110 bottles of beer
1944Bretton Woods agreement$14.7120 bottles of Coca-Cola
1953End of the (Read more...)